A week or so ago, while waiting for the bus,
I watched as a group of teenagers practiced a trick
with their small bikes. In turn, each kid rode
up parallel to an old, steel pipe railing,
then leaped the bike onto the rail.
The intent seemed to be to coast as far as possible
along the rail before losing their balance or bumping
into one of the upright posts. A few took a tumble
or two, but got right back up, dusted off their trousers,
and made another try. Other onlookers and I joked
that the kids at least had the foresight
to pick a practice area right across the street
from a hospital with a Level 1 trauma unit.
In all, there were seven kids in the group,
including one girl, who worked on this skill
for about an hour. At about a quarter 'til
eight, they all peeled off across the campus
as if they'd received some otherwise
unheard signal. I suppose they were headed
towards homes in the downtown area.
Besides, it was a school night.